Launch of The Alumni Factor Shakes Up Traditional College Rankings With New Contenders Cracking the Top Ten

Sep 10, 2012, 09:59 ET from The Alumni Factor

New Ranking System is First to Rely on Alumni Feedback, Empowers Students and Parents to Make Informed Decisions on Higher Education Return on Investment

ATLANTA, Sept. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Graduates of some of the nation's most prestigious colleges and universities, who are accustomed to seeing their schools place high in popular college ranking publications, may be in for an unexpected surprise today.

The Alumni Factor, a new college ranking platform, launched today in both online and print formats (, is expected to shake up the traditional college ranking approach as it is the first to use objective alumni data in rating schools based on how successful their graduates are in their careers and lives.  

The Alumni Factor findings are based on surveys and interviews with more than 42,000 alumni from over 450 schools during the past four years.  Researchers measured 15 different factors, including income, net worth, job opportunities, intellectual development and overall happiness.

While many colleges and universities that typically rank high on other rankings appear in The Alumni Factor's list of America's top colleges, there are many schools on the list that have rarely achieved the coveted top 10 positions in established college rankings.

The Alumni Factor's top 10 includes Washington & Lee University (1st), Yale University (2nd), Princeton University (3rd), Rice University (4th), College of Holy Cross (5th), University of Notre Dame (6th), Middlebury College (7th), United States Naval Academy (8th), United States Military Academy (9th), and Stanford University (10th). 

A full list of The Alumni Factor's college rankings can be found at:

The new ranking platform, which lists the top 177 colleges and universities in the United States, provides students and parents with a performance-based method of assessing and selecting the best college for each student's unique needs. Unlike other well-known college rankings The Alumni Factor equally weights all of its attributes, providing a more objective look at each college or university.  In comparison, other college ranking publications are based on such subjective factors as reputation and peer assessments. 

"When developing The Alumni Factor, our researchers learned that students and parents were desperate for unbiased information to assist them in making the best decision in identifying the right college or university," said Monica McGurk, executive editor of The Alumni Factor and a former partner at McKinsey & Company. "With the rising cost of tuition and the nation's alarmingly high student loan debt, students and parents crave quantifiable data that measures the expected return of investment, and the value of an education at one school versus another."

Through its website, The Alumni Factor offers its members the option of creating personalized rankings based on weightings of The Alumni Factor's key attributes.   A "Match Me to U" feature, for example, allows students to weight attributes which are critical to them, generating a personally tailored list of top college "fits." 

In-depth profiles of the 177 ranked colleges and universities are included in The Alumni Factor's 512-page book, recently published and available to purchase for $29.95. The company also offers a monthly fee of $5.95 for unlimited access to its website, which includes information on over 1,300 colleges and universities, as well as interactive features such as discussion forums.  The Alumni Factor book and access to the website can be combined for a total of $34.95.

"The right college comes down to fit," said Julie C. Lythcott-Haims, the former dean of freshman and undergraduate advising and associate vice provost for undergraduate education at Stanford University and a member of The Alumni Factor's Advisory Board. "The Alumni Factor goes beyond simplistic rankings by giving students insight into what's important to them and the ability to discern the campuses at which they will feel that all-important sense of belonging."

About The Alumni Factor
The Alumni Factor, headquartered in Atlanta, is a college rankings system that goes beyond the traditional approach and empowers students and their parents to make the major decision of where to go to college based on a customizable slate of criteria.  The Alumni Factor is not affiliated with any news organization, publishing house or any other organization in the secondary education arena.  For more information, please visit

About The Alumni Factor Methodology
The Alumni Factor rankings are driven by the detailed feedback from 42,000 alumni from colleges and universities across the country, which were anonymously surveyed via an online survey.  The findings are based on four years of data collection, statistical research, and an independent review led by a Georgia Tech University statistician.

Media Contact: Barry Wanger

SOURCE The Alumni Factor